3 Ukrainian soldiers die in drone outfitting accident subject logo: DONBASWAR
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By Chris Covert

Three unidentified Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another four were wounded in a drone outfitting accident in Avdievka, Donetsk Thursday, according to Russian language news reports.

According to a news release posted on the Donetsk ministry of defense website, the seven casualties were caused by an attempt to transform a drone into a shock drone by hanging grenades aboard the vehicle. Reports are unclear about how the grenade detonated, but did stress the work was done in a tent by Ukrainian volunteers, a euphemism for members of the Right Sektor political group.

Drones are used lavishly by both sides, mostly commercially available quadracopters, although both sides deny their use. It is known that both Russian and Ukrainian military use dedicated military grade surveillance drones in their intelligence gathering operations, but both sides routinely deny it.

The casualties were members of the 13th Company, Ukrainian 58th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade, the main force involved in the Ukrainian attack on Yasinovataya.

Donetsk rebel media also reported that two Ukrainian soldiers were killed and another two were wounded in a land mine explosion in Volnovaha Thursday. According to the report, the victims were aboard a US made Humvee when it struck a mine. Volnovaha is considerably away from the line of contact in western Donetsk.

Fighting near Yasinovataya

According to a news account in tsensor.net.ua, fighting between Ukrainian forces and rebel forces continued on Thursday near Yasinovataya.

Going by an account posted by Ukrainian military journalist Dmitri Tymchuk, rebels have been using a 122mm artillery battery in their operations against Ukrainian forces. Two tanks have been spotted in the area as well.

Tymchuk said that the artillery unit previously had been used against Ukrainian forces in Avdievka, but now it was being used against Ukrainian forces near the road junction near Highway E50.

Rebel media said in the form of a news release on the Donetsk ministry of defense website, that Ukrainian forces have violated the ceasefire a total of 51 times.

Ukrainian artillery struck rebel positions in western Donetsk city, at the Donetsk airport, Spartak and Zhabunki, as well as at Yasinovataya.

Ukrainian artillery destroyed two more residences in Zaitsevo, north of Gorlovka

Fighting in the south

According to the same tsensor.net.ua report, rebel artillery in southern Donetsk has been hitting Ukrainian forces near Shirokino, Novotroitsk and Vodyadnovo. The artillery was originating from Dokuchaevsk.

Rebel media said that Ukrainian artillery struck rebel positions at Sahanka, Kominternovo and Dokuchaevsk.

Chris Covert writes about foreign military issues for Rantburg.com. He can be reached at grurkka@gmail.com and on Twitter. You can read past articles about the 2014 war in southeastern Ukraine by clicking here.

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